May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States. Agencies and offices across the federal government, alongside state and local partners, are working to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination for hepatitis B, testing for hepatitis B and C, the availability of effective care and curative treatment, and the serious health consequences resulting from undiagnosed and untreated viral hepatitis. The entire month affords us important opportunities to raise more widespread awareness of viral hepatitis and its impact in the U.S. and expand healthcare’s coordinated national efforts to improve the health of the estimated 850,000 people living with HEP B and 3.5 million people living with HEP C.
Four Things You Should Know About Viral Hepatitis:
- Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are all different diseases. Each type of hepatitis is caused by a different virus and spread in different ways. Hepatitis A does not cause a long-term infection, although it can make people very sick. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections and lead to serious health problems.
- Chronic hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis B and C can cause serious damage to the liver, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. In fact, more than 60 percent of liver cancer cases are related to hepatitis B or C.
- Most people with chronic hepatitis do not know they are infected. More than four million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis in the United States, but most do not know they are infected. Many people live with chronic hepatitis for decades without symptoms or feeling sick.
- Getting tested could save your life. Lifesaving treatments are available for chronic hepatitis B and new treatments are available that can cure hepatitis C. Still, getting tested is the only way to know if you are infected.
9 Ways to Get Engaged
Assess Your Own Risk and Take Action
Use these easy online tools to find out if you are at risk for hepatitis B or hepatitis C, then take action to locate a nearby provider of hepatitis B vaccination or hepatitis B or C testing. Share these tools with friends, family, colleagues, members, clients, constituents, and others.
Use the Hepatitis Digital Tools
Incorporate the Hepatitis Awareness Month logo into your website, blog posts, social media, email, and other communications. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page to find an array of digital tools including a quiz widget and buttons, badges, and banners in different shapes and sizes that are ready to download and use online.
Join the conversation on social media. Use the hashtags #HepAware, #HepTestingDay, and #HepatitisAwarenessMonth to share information on viral hepatitis and Hepatitis Awareness Month. Follow @HHS_ViralHep on Twitter to learn about the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, federal hepatitis actions and resources. Follow @cdchep on Twitter to receive information from CDC about hepatitis resources, tools, publications, campaign updates, and events.
Take it to the bank
Send money to your favorite viral hepatitis nonprofit organization. Most hepatitis C organizations are doing big work with little money. If you can’t make a donation, a simple thank-you or and encouraging message about a job well done is still valuable.
Use CDC’s Educational Campaign Materials
Know More Hepatitis is an educational campaign aiming to increase testing for Hepatitis C among people born during 1945-1965. Supporting fact sheets, posters, infographic, buttons & badges, live-read radio scripts, templates, and other images can all be found under campaign materials.
Know Hepatitis B is an educational campaign aiming to increase testing for Hepatitis B among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). This multilingual campaign has materials in English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese with select fact sheets also available in Burmese, Hmong, Khmer, and Lao. Supporting videos, fact sheets, posters, infographics, customizable flyers, and other materials can all be found under campaign materials.
CDC has multiple viral hepatitis posters available for ordering at no cost. Some posters are available in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Read About Viral Hepatitis
Learn more about The Department of Health and Human Services’ Action Plan to harness available tools and focus the U.S. response to viral hepatitis. The Action Plan features many opportunities for nonfederal stakeholders to take action in support of reaching goals.
Or, find the latest news, research and information at HEPmag.com.
Tell Your HEP Story
Telling your story puts a face on hepatitis, defies stigma and helps to raise awareness. Make it real of others and get your testimony out there, whether as a care giver, a volunteer, or a person who has overcome or is currently dealing with HEP.
Connect With Others
HEP Forums comprise round-the-clock discussion spaces for people to exchange information and talk to others affected by hepatitis.
Find the Right Physician or HealthCare Team
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